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Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, & Humanities

San José & field sites, Costa Rica

Leslie Ragde A. Sanchez Talavera

Areas of expertise

Bats Ecology, Forest and Agroecosystem Conservation, Corporate Responsibility, Community Relations, Development and Project Management


  • B.S. in Biology, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México-UAEM
  • M.Sc. in Biological Science, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México-UNAM

Potential student research areas

  • Biodiversity inventories in fragments besides agroecosystems
  • Forest management plans
  • Bats living in houses near of banana plantations
  • Support to communities sustainable development projects
  • Plant biodiversity: natural regeneration vs. reforestation programs


Leslie has lived in Costa Rica for five years.  She worked with the Organization of Tropical Studies as Director’s Assistant of La Selva Biological Station.  Then, in 2008 she was in charge of the Nature and Community Project of Chiquita Brands Int., which is an initiative of Corporate Responsibility and involves conservation, education, community development and sustainability.  Since March 2011, she has been in charge of Chiquita Nature and Community Foundation in Costa Rica, and her responsibilities are fundraising, alliance, and proposals.

Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, & Humanities

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Matt Spanier The semester I spent in the Costa Rica Field Research program turned out to be the most influential experience of my undergraduate education. I received a top-rate research experience at a leatherback sea turtle conservation project on the Caribbean coast, where I developed a project that I would later develop into my senior thesis and publish in a tropical conservation journal. Just as important, however, were the relationships I built with my host families, the Spanish language skills I developed, and the understanding I gained of life in Central America. The incredible job the ACM staff did of combining an intense research and cultural experience is what made my semester both so valuable and unique. As I enter medical school to pursue a career involving global health, the desire to continue working in Latin America that my time in Costa Rica ignited will continue to influence my educational and career goals.

—Matt Spanier, Costa Rica, Spring 2008

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